Friday August 17 2018
Marchisio's final show of Juve love

Claudio Marchisio could've been a weight on Juventus this season, so because of that love, he let the Old Lady go. Richard Hall salutes Il Principino.

He didn’t have to do it, his contract ran until 2020, yet Claudio Marchisio’s love for Juventus saw him mutually rescind his deal and leave the club which he adores so much. His picture on social media of him as a boy donning a Juventus shirt said: “I can’t stop looking at his photograph and these stripes on which I wrote my life as a man and a footballer”. There ended a 25-year affiliation with The Old Lady, professionally at least. It was a move that anyone involved with football can sympathise with, as it would’ve been heart-wrenching to do.

From a family of Bianconeri in Turin, Marchisio went from fan, to ball boy, to Serie B, to Champions League, with the club he holds so dear. Now at 32 years of age and after many injures, he decided to leave not just his club, but what he feels is his home.

The ‘Little Prince’ won seven Scudetti and four Coppa Italias, three Italian Super Cups and a Serie B title in a glorious career that saw him revered as one of Europe’s best midfielders for a time. Leaving through mutual consent, the midfielder thought it best to further his career elsewhere as he couldn’t give what he wanted to the club after a string of absences that followed a terrible knee injury back in 2016.

Born and raised in Turin, it is no wonder he was a fan favourite and his form also saw him represent the Azzurri 55 times. The only time he left his home Turin was for a loan spell at Empoli, but other than that he has been ever-present. Whilst he hasn’t featured as much as he or the fans would have liked, his departure will hit Juventus fans hard, as he is a symbol of what it means to be a Juventino. The local boy was one of those men who played in the orchestra in 2006 as the ship sank in the ocean of Calciopoli, he did not look for the life boats.

Marchisio is also not what one sees in modern day footballers. He has never wanted to be in the spotlight and, in the Gianluigi Buffon mould, he has been an example for what the Turin giants expect from their professionals. He is rarely heard off the pitch and in today’s world of footballers being professional marketeers, he is somewhat of a throw-back. One can only imagine how much of an influence he has been and perhaps how much he will be missed in the dressing room by the veterans and young players alike.

It perhaps is a measure of the man that only now we get to discussing his playing qualities. Technically brilliant, tactically astute and what’s more versatile, it is no wonder that he has been a huge part in the journey that Juventus have been on from Serie B to serial title winners. As a mezz'ala, a regista, a ‘whatever you need him to be’, he was first a team player for Juventus and secondly dabbled in the superlatives (albeit not that often).

So, where next for Marchiso? The mainstream media suggests MLS, but all fans of Serie A will hope not. A player like Claudio is one of the few that transcends club rivalries, like Paolo Maldini, Gigi Buffon, Javier Zanetti, you just like them. Perhaps he will return to Empoli? His loyalty and the fact he doesn’t seek the limelight would make it a beautiful fit, but perhaps this is a romantic view.

Tonight, Juventus and fans of Serie A will be saddened by the news. As with Alessandro Del Piero and Gigi Buffon, many thought and believed Marchisio deserved to see out his career in Turin.

Have your say...
The issue is CM gets paid 3.5M a year. That’s a big number for a bench player. I was hoping we would have him one more year, especially after we lost so many veterans this summer. Allegri thinks Khedira is the smartest player on the pitch but I can’t get past the fact that he SUX. He’s slow and predictable. We cannot win Europe with a Khedira on the pitch. He was terrible in the final 2 years younger. I hope Allegri can get the job done w/o boring our superstars on the bench making them quit.
on the 3rd September, 2018 at 11:09pm
We all love Claudio, but he is 32. Emre can is much younger. I don't like the way he was let go. He should have been allowed to say goodbye to the Juve fans in a Del Piero fashion.
on the 20th August, 2018 at 8:31am
Don't understand all the rant, I love Claudio, but the dude is 32 with flake knees, Buffon said he's going to retire and than he went to a plastic saint germain... old italian stars that don't know how to stop. The only player that Claudio could compete with is Khedira and Khedira scores more goals and he will be out next season. Allegri did axe Pirlo, but Pirlo rejuveneted under Conte who build the team around him.
on the 19th August, 2018 at 2:36pm
Clowns only want clowns to be play for them. He once let Pirlo go because he didn't fit in his ever-worthless tactics. I wonder what poor Principino feels when he sees the likes of Khedira, Can and Matuidi ahead of him in the pecking order. I hope to see Conte or Zidane in the bench toward the half of the season.
on the 18th August, 2018 at 1:31pm
@NewACM One more reason to hate Allegri? The guy who managed four doubles in a row and got us to two CL finals? The same guy how got your Milan their last scudetto amid Berlusconi's fire sales?

Sure, bring back the Toupet Tactician so we can be ousted from Europe by powerhouses like Galatasaray and Benfica.
on the 18th August, 2018 at 10:54am
It's too bad, but realistically, Marchisio was non-existent through his long injury and we still won. No player is irreplaceable on the pitch. Irreplaceable in hearts, maybe, but hearts alone do not win games.
on the 18th August, 2018 at 10:46am
Don't blame Allegri. He was a starter for 2years under Allegri, before his injury. Clearly, he wasn't the same afterward. Also, sentiment aside-sure it's sad to see a player leave who went through the ranks, certainly if he's as modest & amiable as Marchisio-calling him better than Pjanic is ridiculous. Also, football is business, they shouldn't keep players around for emotional reasons, like Totti at Roma. Also, with all due respect, but if they retire his jersey, they'll soon run out of number
on the 18th August, 2018 at 8:35am
One more reason to hate Allegri. Thank you Claudio, I always saw you as a world class midfielder and an exceptional athlete. Please come to Milan, hopefully you'll get the appreciation you deserve.. but surely you'll be an upgrade on every midfielder we have. I wish you success wherever you go, maybe the Juve management will see how destructive mr. negative is to talented players like you.
on the 18th August, 2018 at 6:21am
I would love to see him reunited with Gigi Buffon at PSG. Forza CM8!
on the 17th August, 2018 at 11:17pm
Marchisio wants 1st team football as regista because at his age, he knows he can no longer playing as mezzala. And we all know Marchisio is better than Pjanic in that role.

Il Principino is definitely not happy. 3 years ago, Marotta promised him important role as Pirlo's heir at Juve. And I still remember Pjanic was bought because Allegri wanted classic playmaker in his team.

I feel bad for Marchisio. This is... SAD.
on the 17th August, 2018 at 11:15pm
To loss a player such as Marchisio, one of our own a true Bianconero born and bread !!, just shows you loyalty is dead in football and the days of a one club player is no more.

There are other players in the squad who do not have the heart and ability that he brought to the dressing room and I feel he will be a loss, but I respect his choice to put the club before himself.

#il piccolo Principe

grazie per tutti i meravigliosi ricordi.

# Bianconero4ever
on the 17th August, 2018 at 10:59pm
I can't see him going far from Italy.

I can see him going to play in France.

MLS is complete muff and unless they throw the bank at him, it would not make sense.
on the 17th August, 2018 at 9:28pm
I think juve/allegri have got this one wrong. Marchisio gives superb protection to back 4 and is tactically astute and technically competent. I think he plays regista better than Pjanic who should be moved slightly ahead as that is his best position as it was in Roma. We will regret this. He should go to Napoli or Milan where his services could be used.
on the 17th August, 2018 at 9:25pm
it honestly broke my heart in half.
on the 17th August, 2018 at 6:35pm
I know why. I just don't accept it.
We lost Buffon, Lichsteiner, Asamoah, Claudio!!!, Higuain on loan and yet Bonucci gets to come back to play alongside Ronaldo.

If there ever was a season to win UCL, this better be it. We accept nothing less.
on the 17th August, 2018 at 6:23pm
Loyal player who'll always be adored by all Juventini. Grazie Claudio!
on the 17th August, 2018 at 6:19pm
Calling Marchisio a "weight" on Juventus shows just poor the judgement and understanding this pathetic writer has of both Il Principino and Juventus.

Claudio was still vital for us both in the league and Europe, but this pathetic Juventus Management is so myopic that it let Gigi go, let Claudio go, let a rising star like Caldara go in lieu of a fading Bonucci.

Juventus has lost its identity after it has let its bandieras like Del Piero, Buffon, Claudio - and soon Chiellini - go in pursuit of something which won't happen without these stalwarts... That something, of course, is the UCL.

Utterly pathetic.
on the 17th August, 2018 at 6:08pm
Very nice piece and some beautiful sentiments here.

I was hoping Allegri would give him some more playing time last season and the coming season. But with the acquisition of Can I think it was not possible.

He would've been a much better option than Khedira, though, and that's not only when it comes to football but on many other levels as well. But coaches and their stubborn beliefs...

Il Principino will be sorely missed. What a bitter sweet summer this has been for us Juve fans
on the 17th August, 2018 at 6:02pm
He IS world-class. Too many players get too much credit for a specific set of skills, or for potential. Others for following dictatorial managers. This is a player with talent, but also with intelligence, drive and personality.

Mistake to let him go. On one leg he puts Khedira's peak form to shame.

Another of Allegri's failings.

Manchester City would be rather astute, themselves, to move for this player. He'd be a great fit rotating in that midfield, and challenging Fernandinho.
on the 17th August, 2018 at 5:49pm
i just hope that juventus retires his number 8 jersey. it would be a fitting gesture to a symbol of the club. you almost cant retire the number 10, 9 or number 1 jersey. but juve should give this lad this fitting gesture.
on the 17th August, 2018 at 5:47pm

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